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Jill Morris (1936–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

australia illustrated review queensland

(Jill Farrar)

Personal

Born 1936, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Education: University of Queensland, B.A. and diploma in education; Trinity College, London, study in speech and drama. Religion: Church of England (Anglican).

Career

Writer. Bundaberg State High School, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, teacher; Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1957–78, began as radio programming producer, then television and film producer; freelance writer. Swinburne Institute, Melbourne, lecturer in graphic design, c. 1990; teacher at schools including University of Queensland, Victoria College, and Melbourne Council of Adult Education. Greater Glider Productions (publisher), Maleny, Queensland, Australia, co-founder and managing editor, 1983. Member, Australian Council Literature Board, 1976–79, Film Queensland advisory committee, 1994–96, and Sunshine Coast University College planning committee and council, 1993–99. Artist-in-Schools, 1985–88; participant in National Book Council tours, 1986 1990, 1994; writer-in-residence, Australia Council Literature Board, 1993.

Member

Australian Society of Authors (member of management committee, 1992–93), Australian Writers Guild, Society of Editors, Children's Book Council of Australia, Queensland Writers Centre (regional representative, 1993–94), Business and Tourism Association of Sunshine Coast, Blackall Range Tourism Association, Churchill Fellows Association, Peace of Green Multiple Artform Collective, Eco-Tourism Association of Australia.

Honors Awards

Churchill fellow, 1972; Australia Council Literature Board grants, 1981, 1985; Arts Queensland publishing grant, 1994, and writing grants, 1995, 1996; senior fellow, University of Sunshine Coast, 2000; Dame Annabelle Rankin Award for children's literature, 2005.

Writings

Kolo the Bush Koala, illustrated by Rich Richardson, Golden (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973.

Rusty the Nimble Numbat, illustrated by Rich Richardson, Golden (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973.

Rufus the Red Kangaroo, illustrated by Rich Richardson, Golden (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973.

Percy the Peaceful Platypus, illustrated by Rich Richardson, Golden (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973.

Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat (also see below), illustrated by Rich Richardson, Golden (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973.

Saturday Street, illustrated by Geoff Hocking, Viking/Puffin, 1983.

Monkey and the White Bone Demon, Penguin Putnam, 1984.

The Boy Who Painted the Sun, illustrated by Geoff Hocking, Kestrel, 1984.

Monkey Creates Havoc in Heaven, Penguin Putnam, 1989.

Australian Bats, illustrated by Lynne Tracey, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1993.

Dido Has Diabetes, illustrated by Margie Chellew, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1993.

Australian Owls, Frogmouths, and Nightjars, illustrated by Lynne Tracey, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1993.

Australian Frogs, Amazing Amphibians, illustrated by Lynne Tracey, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1996.

The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars: The Journal of a Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, illustrated by Sharon Dye, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1997.

Australian Kangaroos, Magnificent Macropods, illustrated by Lynne Muir, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1998.

Mahogany the Mystery Glider (nonfiction), illustrated by Sharon Dye, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 1999.

Endangered! (stage plays), Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2000.

Kaleidoscope 2000: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems, Post Pressed (Flaxton, Queensland, Australia), 2000.

Frog Thunder, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2001.

Kookaburra School, illustrated by Heather Gall, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2002.

Silly Baby Magpie!, illustrated by Heather Gall, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2003.

Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat, and Other Australian Animal Tales, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2003.

Golden Wombats, illustrated by Jane Burrell, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2003.

The Environment Collection, Phoenix Education (Melbourne, Queensland, Australia), 2003.

Wombat down Below!, illustrated by Lucy Everitt, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2004.

Koala Number One, illustrated by Heather Gall, Greater Glider (Maleny, Queensland, Australia), 2004.

Also author of numerous other books, including Where Is Kangaroo?, illustrated by Lynne Tracey, 1994; Numbat, Run!; Dugong, Dive!; Golden Wombats, illustrated by Tracey; and Bunyip on the Obi Obi (radio play), illustrated by Ian Steep, for Harcourt. Author of Platypus Point, illustrated by Tracey; and (with Belinda Nissen) The Cod Hole, photographs by Mark Nissen, for HarperCollins. Author of Rainbow Warrior: Battle for the Planet (nonfiction), for Omnibus; Ghost of DropCroc (novel), for Addison Wesley Longman; Velvet the Flying Gecko, illustrated by Bronwyn Searle, for Queensland Science Centre; The Lady down the Road, illustrated by Irena Sibley, for SilverGum/Allen & Unwin; Almost a Dinosaur (play), illustrated by Veronica Holland, for Currency Press; and Green Air, illustrated by Lindsay Muir, Who's in the Sky?, illustrated by Jane Benson, Whose Pouch?, illustrated by Jane Burrell, and Fraser Dingo, illustrated by Sharon Dye. Contributed six volumes to "Aussie Triumphs" series; creator of coloring books and of book and audiotape sets, including Clever Company, Sam's House, Sounds Spooky!, and Frogmouth Fax. Contributor to periodicals; contributor of reviews to Age, 1979–87; columnist for Weekender and Green Guide, 1980–97.

Work in Progress

Warriors of the Green, a novel for eight-to twelve-year-old readers; research on the Pacific Ocean, including the Philippines.

Sidelights

Australian author and publisher Jill Morris wrote her first poem following the tragic death of her father during World War II. A young girl then, she grew up to become a producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where her writing skills extended to radio and film documentaries as well as educational books. Founding her own publishing company, Great Glider Productions, in the early 1980s, Morris also owns a six-acre rainforest that she calls Book Farm. In addition to opening her farm, located on the coast of Brisbane, Australia, to authors, illustrators, and musicians alike, she has also combined her love of nature and writing in numerous books for children, among them her first book, Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat, as well as titles such as Kookaburra School and Silly Baby Magpie. Combining fun and learning, Silly Baby Magpie was praised for its "simple, lively verse" by Aussie Reviews online contributor Sally Murphy, and the critic also praised the "delightful illustrations of Heather Gall" in Koala Number One, a story about a young koala named Kolo who, forced to leave the koala colony of his father, must find a new territory of his own.

Morris once told SATA: "I am committed to the preservation of the natural environment, and all my writing reflects this. I have worked for children on all fronts—television and radio production, newspaper and magazine journalism, and as a publisher, editor, and author of more than eighty books." Discussing Greater Glider Productions on her home page, Morris explained that the publishing company produces an average of ten volumes yearly, "some of my own titles and a number by other authors and illustrators. Greater Glider Books have a reputation for being accurate, informative, and stunningly beautiful. They have a very strong leaning towards the preservation of the natural environment."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Australian Book Review, July, 1997, review of The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars, p. 62.

Christian Science Monitor, September 12, 1985, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 31.

Emergency Librarian, September, 1983, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 20; March, 1987, review of Saturday Street, p. 23.

Junior Bookshelf, October, 1984, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 200.

Magpies, March, 1993, Margot Hillel, review of Dido Has Diabetes, p. 34, and Stephanie Owen Reeder, review of Australian Bats, p. 35; May, 1994, review of Where Is Kangaroo?, p. 25; July, 1994, Hugo McCann, review of Australian Owls, Frogmouths, and Nightjars, pp. 35-36; March, 1997, Annette Dale-Meiklejohn, review of The Wombat Who Talked to the Stars, p. 23; November, 1998, Jennifer Poulter, review of Australian Kangaroos, Magnificent Macropods, p. 42; July, 1999, review of Mahogany the Mystery Glider, p. 41; November, 2001, review of Frog Thunder, p. 35; May, 2002, review of Kookaburra School, p. 27; March, 2003, review of Silly Baby Magpie!, p. 28.

Nature Australia, autumn, 2000, Cheryl Hook, review of Mahogany the Mystery Glider, p. 72.

New York Times Book Review, September 16, 1984, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, June 29, 1984, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 105.

School Library Journal, October, 1984, Connie C. Rockman, review of The Boy Who Painted the Sun, p. 150; May, 1989, Denise A. Anton, review of Monkey Creates Havoc in Heaven, p. 102.

Times Literary Supplement, April 6, 1973, review of Kolo the Bush Koala, Rusty the Nimble Numbat, Rufus the Red Kangaroo, and Percy the Peaceful Platypus, p. 390.

Wildlife Australia, summer, 2000, Robert Ashdown, review of Australian Kangaroos: Magnificent Macropods, p. 46; summer, 2000, Robert Ashdown, review of Fraser Dingo, p. 46; spring, 2004, Caelyn Jones, review of Silly Baby Magpie!, p. 42; spring, 2004, Samantha John-Hore, review of Harry the Hairy-nosed Wombat, and Other Australian Animal Tales, p. 42.

ONLINE

Aussie Reviews Online, http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (October 7, 2005), Sally Murphy, review of Kukaburra School, Koala Number One, and Silly Baby Magpie!

Jill Morris Home Page, http://www.greaterglider.com (October 7, 2005).

Gerald (Paul) Morris (1963-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights [next] [back] Leslie H(olt) Morrill (1934-2003) Biography - OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

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